“But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head” (Psa. 3:3).
Where do we go from here? It is a question I am hearing every day. Thankfully, we are moving out of crisis mode, but we are far removed from the normal rhythms of life that we were just beginning to have after the 2+ year intrusion of Covid. But if we were to just take pause for a moment and think about our lives, this rhythm of moving from hardship to hardship is actually the “normal” of this life “under the sun.” “What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 2:23).
The reality of this world is this: “For as in Adam all die…” (1 Cor. 15:22). The sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden brought the awful curse of death. Instead of walking with God in the cool of the day, there is enmity, brokenness, hardship and death. We need a second Adam, one who can undo the horrors of the Fall and begin a new creation not only in the world in which we live, but more importantly, one that involves a new heart to replace the heart of stone.
And herein lies the answer to our question. It is the same answer that we must seek each day that the Lord gives us breath. For God has provided a second Adam, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he [Jesus] himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Heb. 2:14-15). Contrary to the wisdom given by Bob Dylan, the answer is NOT blowing in the wind. The answer is Jesus. As we heard yesterday, “Jesus is enough.” “He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:3-5).
So where do we go from here? We continue our journey through this life with our eyes firmly fixed on “Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). As we place look to him by faith, we receive grace upon grace, because “he gives more grace” (James 4:6).
I was asked by a friend in the past few days how he could be praying for me. My answer was simple – pray for sustaining grace! That is a prayer that God will answer in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, a powerful grace perfected in my weakness. I have to admit every single day that I am weak. That is not resignation or futility, but the fertile ground that allows us to be “oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified” (Isa. 61:3).
In these days of tribulation, won’t you look to the one who is “a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” He will give us the strength to persevere through every fiery trial, and he will give us the grace to fix our eyes firmly on Jesus.